Who makes the cut? Worthy and unworthy news

In order to analyse what news is considered most worthy I picked up the weekend edition of the Sydney Morning Herald as I think a lot of people would get their news from here, thinking it a very balanced and truthful news source. The featured picture in the middle of the front page corresponds to a story about how Muslim women in their teens are “already coping with the trials of adolescence [and] facing the ‘burqa’ backlash by reclaiming their space”. My first thought is the fact that the word burqa is in quotations makes it seem like burqa is not a real word. On turning to Page 11 to read the story which was the most prominent feature of the front page I was surprised to find a story that took up less than a quarter of the page, smaller than the ad next to it. The original picture was bigger. Above it, taking up half the page is a story about the Rabbitohs. This is very reflective of Australian media as a whole- we take the wellbeing of minorities that we are targeting with very negative media less seriously than sport.

Below the photo on the front page is a story about how Telstra is going to start charging more for landlines. I can understand why this might be considered news to SMH- the majority of people buying it are probably older and still have a landline phone and the 7% increase in the price of said landline probably is very important for them to know about. Upon turning to page 8 to read the rest of the story I found out that this 7% increase which may or may not happen next year is considered much more important and newsworthy than the fact that the victims of a Pastor who was revealed to be paedophile may never come forward or get any peace. Again this is reflective of Australian media which seems much more concerned with money than anything else.

The last feature of the front page of SMH which struck me is that a large portion of it is advertisements, and not informative stories.


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